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Monday, May 25, 2009

U.S. SOUTHWEST: DSWA - The Aloha Spirit Thrives in This Direct Sellers Association

By Kathleen Ronald

Southwest Bureau Chief

(Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah)

This month I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to an extraordinary tag team who founded a wonderful group called DSWA. Not only are Nicki and Grace partners, they are the greatest mother-daughter duo to hit the market! Meet Nicki and Grace Keohohou of Direct Selling Women’s Alliance.

I was fortunate enough to meet these amazing women through an old friend named Kathleen Wheeler, who I met when I moved to San Jose and needed some Mary Kay products years ago. Some twenty years later, she is now working for this fine organization, and when I heard about it, I decided I had to know more about DSWA. I was able to meet Nicki and Grace at their National Convention that they held in LA last month, and let me tell you- it was love at first sight! Watching Grace and Nicki was like observing an artist in action-a rare treat for me, as I experienced for the first time, the vibe called DSWA.

The first question I asked them was “Who started DSWA?” and Nicki immediately chimed in to tell her story. She had been involved in Direct Selling for over 25 years, and had worked all aspects of the business. Nicki realized that there was no association to support all the various channels of the Direct Sales world, and as they say, “find a need and fill it”- fill it she did!

What I love about Nicki and Grace is that they are the real deal, and that the association is reflective of the “Aloha” spirit. If you have ever been to Hawaii, you know what I’m talking about. Their passion, heart, soul, and sheer determination brought this dream to a reality back in February 2003, after two years of preparation. This is truly a “grass-roots” organization that has plenty to share if you are in Direct Sales, MLM, or Network Marketing. This wonderful organization is a place you can call home.

Home is a key word at DSWA for many reasons. For starters, home is where this dream was born, and where it evolved from a two-bedroom home that seven people shared with limited resources, to what it is today. Secondly, all of the employees are based from home so that they may truly know the needs of their community. As Nicki said, “We believe there is no better way to understand your members then to live the lifestyle they live as a “home-based” and “home – managed” business. We feel you manage your business from home however you base your business out in the world.”

So, if you are looking for a Direct Selling organization that has some local meetings to connect with like-minded individuals ~ check out

There you will find the local meeting locations. Once at the meetings, you will experience a “safe place” where all types of products and service folks can come together and become masters at their trade, without the constant pressure of recruitment to other companies. They have a strict code of ethics that support the members to thrive in ways that have not been possible before, as their world was running on different terms for these folks until DSWA came around.

The key to their success is that while they do not allow any recruiting amongst the members, they both allow and encourage members to buy from other members. I was surprised by some stats that Nikki shared with me. She said if each person only bought $100.00 of products from a Direct Sales person, that would crank 7.2 billion into the Direct Sales Channel and 3.6 million dollars of the money comes back in commission awards and incentives back in the field. What better economic stimulus package could you dream of? We all have friends in this world, and I'm sure we could all divert $100 per month from the retail establishments and support another entrepreneur.

In the old days, everyone in this arena saw each as either competition or potential- someone to sell to or recruit. Thanks to DSWA, today they see it as collaboration and support. This is the principle that DSWA was founded on.

The agenda is easy:


Open: Code of Honor overview


Guest Speaker (education)

Bid Table / Share products and services


DSWA is an organization that supports its members beyond the local meeting.

Grace shared that it only cost $89.00 to become a member. You can also try out the benefits for 30 days for only $1.00. I was shocked by such an easy price to pay for the value you receive.

They have a top-notch website, ongoing training, community, and an e-support system that distributes their 1,000+ recordings, all of which represent the top names in the training field. Their web stuff rocks, and they have a ton of reasons why you would find this of extreme benefit to your growth as a Direct Sales Professional.

The web benefits include:

  • Discounted marketing and communication
  • Audio recording
  • Email system
  • Discounted DSWA products
  • Insurance, including dental, health, hospitilization, chiropractic and more
  • Central meeting place
  • Tons of training via articles, tip/quotes, tele-classes, and multimedia training coming soon
  • Community
  • Networking
  • Service discounts such as Office Max, Fed Ex, long distance, etc

Beyond the obvious need for this organization, as Grace explained, was the heart aspect of the organization. Her mother Nicki wanted to help children with their self-esteem. As a teacher, this was a huge desire of hers -to be a force to help mold the self-esteem of her students. The model didn’t reach its intended desires, as the kids went home to their dysfunctional families. So, my mom decided that if she was going to cause real change for the kids, she would have to get to the root cause -through the parents: the parents in the world of Direct Selling. “I’ll allow the parents to learn and experience what a healthy self-esteem looks like and they in turn are the example for the children.”

It was so uplifting listening to Grace tell story after story of people who were on the verge of giving up before they got involved with DSWA. After listening to a class or attending a meeting, many of them had a 180 degree turn-around experiences and went on to become one of the top producers in their companies. Grace shared the many stories like a proud mother. Grace has a way of drawing you in and making you feel loved and cared for from the first hello. Her mother came to her with the idea years ago and she jumped right in. The success of this organization is due to this duo being a much needed “light” to support our youth with the most important of all gifts, the gift of a healthy self-esteem ~ the gift that fuels their every step on their life journeys. This gift above all others ensures God’s vision is fully expressed through every individual. If you don’t have a healthy self-esteem you wouldn’t be able to gift your talents to the world. Do you want to know the core of DSWA …Love thy self first ~ in learning to love yourself first you will then be the love that will light the way for your children so they can stand strong and love themselves and so on and so on it goes.

DSWA is much more than an association; it is a much needed community. This is one organization that feels like home the minute you are lucky enough to meet either Nicki or Grace. DSWA is not only a welcome community for you as a Direct Selling Professional, but it is a home for your business, a home for your heart, and a home for your soul!

If you want more information you can reach the client service department at 888-417-0743 or or email them at

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